With New Fed. Policy, Mass. Patients Want Medical Marijuana Bill

BOSTON — The Obama administration’s directive to federal prosecutors
not to prosecute medical marijuana activities that are in accord with state
laws gives new impetus to the drive to pass a medical marijuana bill in
Massachusetts, patients who have benefited from marijuana said today.

Pending legislation, HB 2160 would make Massachusetts the 14th state
with such a law. The bill is largely modeled on the successful medical
marijuana law in Rhode Island, which has been in force since 2006.

“I’m excited about this news from the Obama
administration, which shows that the government is now willing to acknowledge
that marijuana has legitimate medical uses,” said Marcy Duda of Ware, who
suffers from chronic pain and debilitating nerve damage due to brain surgery.
“I hope this sends a signal to our legislators that there is no reason not to
move ahead with legislation to help seriously ill patients. I’ve tried
prescription painkillers that are very addictive and just knock me
out. Medical marijuana helps me get by.”

A Suffolk University pollreleased in September found that 81 percent of
Massachusetts voters support medical marijuana legislation. Full poll results
are available at http://www.suffolk.edu/research/38128.html

“Hopefully this will help reduce the needless stigma associated with medical
marijuana use,” said Don from the South Shore, who suffers from a rare
condition called cyclic vomiting syndrome and who asked that his full name not
be used for fear of legal consequences. “It’s not about an excuse to use an
illegal drug, it’s about people with cancer, pain, or other illnesses who don’t
respond to other available medications. I suffered for years before I had any
idea about medical marijuana. I’ve considered moving to Rhode Island so I
could have safe access to my medicine and never have to miss work while
bedridden with nausea and vomiting.”


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